Many of us have tried learning a new language as an adult and it can be pretty tough. Lucky for our children though, language acquisition is much easier the younger they are!
The earlier you start helping your child learn a new language, the quicker they can build new neural pathways and brain connections that enable them to find learning new languages easier in the future too.
Here are our some tips to get you started!
1. Talk, talk, talk!
Whilst they might not be speaking full sentences yet, they are certainly picking up on the communication that happens around them. In other words, everything you are saying will influence them. Start with saying easy words you use a lot like mamma and dadda in both languages to them. Soon they will begin connecting the two!
2. Expose them to the new language in different forms
As mentioned above, they will pick up on the communication around them. An easy way to incorporate a new language to their routing is putting on a TV show in a different language with characters that they recognise or finding their favourite board game with the new language.
3. Be patient
You'll know when your child is bored or just not wanting to engage. Follow the cues you already know about your child and pick the right time. Don’t force anything or they will be more reluctant to try in the future!
If you are choosing your next holiday, pick a destination that speaks the language your child is learning! From ordering their first ice cream or saying thank you, they will pick up the language much quicker knowing they have to speak it to get what they want.
5. Find new friends
The easiest way to pick up a new language is using the language with others. Get others in their circle to speak to them in the new language, whether it’s family, a local language group or friends at school.